The Best Thing About Being Over 50… is Being Over 50. | Dayton, OH Photographer | Aging Gracefully | Portraits for Women

The women who have graced our studio for this project have brought with them the greatest wealth of knowledge and experience. Their take on self-love, aging gracefully, and life in general has been such an honor for us to witness at WDP. Carrie is no exception to that. She has such a carefree vibe about her that makes her energy completely contagious. She walked through the doors, fully trusting our process – and our studio wardrobe lol, without a single item of clothing and said, “I’m not getting any younger, this is who I am… let’s do this.”

This is what she had to say:

“How can you succeed at aging gracefully? For me… aging gracefully begins with giving myself grace, accepting how old I am, owning it, and loving who I have become over the years. I find loving myself is the springboard to everything else.

I find loving myself is the springboard to everything else.

The best thing about being over 50… is being over 50. I have five decades of experiences, good and bad, that have shaped who I am, how I think, what I take seriously and what I don’t. Each decade has made me stronger and taught me something valuable. I know I am a better person at 50 than I was at 40 or 30 or even 20. I have always been about living a healthy lifestyle and spending time with family and friends; both make me feel terrific. Feeling terrific sparks energy. Energy transcends into beauty, defined not by the wrinkles on my face, but instead by the twinkle in my eye, glow in my smile, and the pep in my step.

Energy transcends into beauty, defined not by the wrinkles on my face, but instead the twinkle in my eye, glow in my smile, and the pep in my step.

Maty Jean May (my mother) once said, “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked” but I have learned not to let my looks define me. Instead, I focus on the best of what is yet to come.

Aging Gracefully & Gratefully | Dayton, OH Photographer | Women’s Portraiture

This beautiful tribute to age and beauty was written by one of our incredible 50 Over 50 women. Keri is stunning, which you can clearly see in these images, but what stands out to me the most about her is that she doesn’t let anyone tell her who she can be based on the number of years she’s graced this earth. She becomes more and more independent and true to who she is every single year, and that’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever witnessed. I’m honored to have her as a part of this project.

This is what she had to say:

“I decided way back that I would embrace my age and rewrite what “older” would look and feel like. The best is yet to come and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. I think there are a few layers with aging gracefully. The first is how we take care of ourselves, our skin, our minds, and our beautiful bodies. The second is the way we show up to the world, how we present ourselves and dress. What we choose to wear is an outward expression of how we feel about ourselves and who we truly are.  For me, I love fashion, so wearing something I love, that makes me feel good is an easy way to inject a little fun and self-love into my day.  I ignore most of the fashion beliefs that I’ve been told all these years as to how we should or shouldn’t look at a certain age; how we should style our hair, when we should stop wearing something that would show our legs off, or when to wear less makeup… WHO makes these rules? My philosophy on fashion is if it makes you feel good, wear it! We need to be so confident in who are are at ANY age, that no one’s opinion, judgement or rejection can rock us. Our life isn’t our life if we care what others think.

We need to be so confident in who we are at ANY age, that no one’s opinion, judgement, or rejection can rock us. 

As women, our health and self-care is so important; it’s not selfish.  For me, this means focusing more on Pilates and resistance training, more water, a diet that includes healthy fats and protein, with a lower carb ratio. Even though I don’t live my life in fear of getting older, I do fear losing my health and that is one thing I won’t compromise on. I try every day to do my best with my diet and overall health. We have to keeping nourishing and moving our bodies.

Finally the mental aspect of age, and probably the most important comes down to gratitude. I wake up every day grateful for another day; another day to be better and to do better. Age is just a number, and as women we need to inspire one another to be the badasses we were meant to be. A glowing woman can help another woman glow and still be lit.

Age is just a number and as women we need to inspire one another to be the badasses we were meant to be.

This is 64. I am proud of it, the wrinkles, the scars. I have lived and I have earned it all.”

How to Prepare for a Portrait Session with WDP

It can be an absolutely nerve-racking time in the weeks before your first photoshoot! I get it, and so many women have been right where you are.

This is a quick run down of what you SHOULD and should NOT do before your portrait experience with WDP.

We’ve got you, girl!



NOTHING kills the mood of something that’s supposed to be fun and relaxing like having to rush through your morning to get somewhere. Just boo! Always plan for traffic and allow yourself an extra 15 to get to the studio. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before your designated session time.


Use this opportunity to pamper and reward yourself. Before your shoot, go get a fresh mani/pedi… get a massage… have a fun girls day. A relaxed, polished look is always a plus. Chipped nails and tense shoulders can be really distracting in your images.


Ok, this one sounds odd, yea?! Dry, chapped lips are very hard to fix in photoshop. In the days leading up to your photoshoot, exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub or even BRUSH them with an extra toothbrush. Trust me this WORKS! It helps to shed dead skin. Afterwards, apply a moisturizing lip balm. Dr. Lipp is seriously THE BEST product out there for dry skin/lips. It’s definitely a multi-use product; I love it for the lips and cheek highlight, and I’ve seen it used for anything from dry elbows and knees to cracked nipples for nursing moms. You can score this on Amazon for less than $15!


WDP is so excited to now offer in-studio wardrobe options; flowy skirts and fabrics, dresses, kimono’s, bodysuits, and button up blouses. We do NOT supply lingerie for the obvious sanitary elements involved with that. Bring undergarment options that fit in different ways, or specific fashion pieces you have in mind. We go through all of these items when you arrive and you never know what might work once you’re in the session that you never thought about before. So when in doubt, bring it anyways! We’ll decide before your shoot!


Lather on that lotion, girl! Moisture is KEY for beautiful skin. Hydrate with a ton of water in the weeks before your session, and moisturize TWICE a day in the week leading up to your shoot. This tip is CRUCIAL. Use an oil based or illuminating moisturizer on the day of your shoot. Don’t use tinted lotions, body bronzers, or anything with color!


Music is my number one must have at every shoot. While we will always keep a studio playlist rolling during your entire session, you are more than welcome to create a Spotify playlist and share it with us for your session. Good music vibes get you into the super model zone! We can stream your tunes on our bluetooth speaker and make it your own unique jam sesh.


During hair and makeup, we’ll have you slip on a robe without undergarments to give your skin some time to decompress and release any marks made by your clothing; bra, panties, socks, leggings, etc. It also gets a little chilly during the winter months, so having those slippers will be key! Even in the summer, it’s just super cozy to have a fluffy pair of slippers and a robe with you! We highly recommend!


You came to me because you saw images of other women looking amazing, beautiful, confident, and strong… trust that I know what I’m doing, and I will do the same for you. I will never ask you to do something that will make you look unflattering. I know lighting, I know posing, I know which angles will make your booty pop and thin your waist… I’VE GOT YOU. I’ve photographed hundreds of women and have quite literally worked with every body type and insecurity you can imagine. Don’t stress (easier said than done though, I understand), just trust.



I know you think you’ll look so much better with a tan… but I ASSURE YOU, even if you don’t see the streaks and uneven coloring in real life, my camera WILL pick them up. You will photograph a lot more tan than you think you look, especially after post processing. TRUST ME ON THIS! On the same note, no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body. I know a lot of women are avid tanners and spray tanner’s and cannot imagine going without it for a photoshoot. Of course I will absolutely still photograph you, but unfortunately, standard retouching and makeup services do not include spray tan correction, so definitely keep that in mind.


If you’ve purchased a portrait session that includes hair and makeup BE SURE to arrive with CLEAN, DRY hair that is ready to be heat styled, and a clean, moisturized face. Professional hair and makeup is included in most sessions, but does not account for additional time blow drying your hair, or cleansing your skin. Do not pre-straighten your hair before your shoot unless you intend on having a straight hair look for the session. We ask that you please honor this request! We’ve got the rest.


Dehydrated skin, dark circles, and the smell of booze oozing from your pores is not the look we’re going for. Hangovers are not sexy… LAWD, do I know it.


This mama LOVES her red wine. I feel ya, but red and purple teeth stains don’t make for a great photograph. If you need something to calm the nerves, I recommend champagne or white wine; which we have a supply of in the studio for the day of!


If you’ve seen my portfolio, you know I’m the QUEEN of the hair flip, whipping that neck posing. A lot of the poses look so effortlessly beautiful, but some can be quite uncomfortable to get into. Take a few minutes the morning of to stretch your arms, legs, hips, neck, and especially your back; we’re going to be popping the booty, arching the back, and twisting during your shoot – you don’t want to pull a muscle while mid-Beyonce.


Just don’t. Don’t do it. Now is not the time to experiment with a whole new look not knowing how it’s going to turn out. Stick with what you’ve got, and I promise you’ll still look amazing.


Don’t worry about body issues, your period, acne, posing anxiety, whether or not you’re photogenic (at this point you’re probably thinking I’m delusional…), trust me WE HAVE GOT YOU. Bloating sucks, but we can tuck that in. Pimples are the BIGGEST pain in the world, but it’s nothing a little spot removal can’t fix in an instant. You don’t have to be a model to do this, you don’t have to know what you’re doing at all, I will guide you every step of the way, including how to breath and where to look! Every single person on the planet has a good angle… and it’s my job to find that, so whether or not you’re photogenic isn’t an issue either. Body issues are something I can empathize with after years of eating disorders and viewing myself in such a negative way. I take these feelings very seriously and I NEVER want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I have learned ALL the tricks during my career to ensure that I’m emphasizing the areas women love about themselves, and downplaying the areas they don’t. I always make sure you’re comfortable with the posing before we move forward. You are in the best hands possible.



Vulnerability; the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

I don’t think there’s a better word to describe 2020.


Living in the new normal, being judged for wearing or not wearing a mask, all the while being terrified of the unknown; just walking down the street can feel like standing naked in a crowd.

This photo for me sparks a complex conversation between the narrative of COVID-19 and the intense emotional battle we have all encountered during the course of this year.

2020 may have slowed, and even brought to an abrupt halt, so many aspects of life as we know it, but it has also opened our hearts and sparked CHANGE in the world.

Marlene Mota X W.D.P. (Featured on

I had the opportunity to work with fashion blogger and model Marlene Mota in New York this summer. Marlene is a full-time fashion blogger, living in Harlem, NY. She has modeled for top designers, as well as the runway and for several publications, with fashion photographers from across the industry. She is looking forward to her future in fashion and building her personal brand.

We planned this shoot with high fashion meets affordability in mind. H&M is exactly the type of brand we knew could complete this look.

Paired with a leather, Chanel handbag and mixed with a fresh perspective of East meets West; this shoot was brought to life by this beautiful location in Brooklyn, NY.

There’s just something about shooting in New York, the city lights, the grit, the dream chasers… there’s no other place that can inspire like NYC!

Check out the full shoot below!


Photo featured on














Top: H&M

Bottoms: H&M

Handbag: CHANEL


Model: Marlene Mota

Instagram: @Shydiosa

Makeup by Yajaira Gomez
Instagram: @__twiggy____

Location: Loosie Rouge, Brooklyn, NY
Instagram: @loosierouge

Styled Shoot by: Whitney Gookenbarger of Whitney Danielle Photography

Facebook: Whitney Danielle Photography
Instagram: @whitneydaniellephoto